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A major new contract with Estonia-based department store Tallinna Kaubamaja marks an important step in Microsoft and Columbus IT’s joint strategy to move into the retail sector. The new solution gives the department store a number of important competitive advantages and makes it much easier to give customers the service they demand.
The contract with the Estonian department store is the first result of a strategic initiative aimed at the retail market that was launched by Columbus IT in the autumn of 2009 in collaboration with the world’s biggest software company, Microsoft, which has bought the rights to Columbus IT’s industry solution for the retail sector.
“The retail sector was hit hard by the economic crisis and only very few retail businesses had the systems and the functionality needed to handle such drastic changes in the market and in customers’ buying habits. We now see a massive need for end-to-end systems in the retail sector that cover the entire business, from cash registers to customer systems and storage management. Consequently, we have developed a strategy in collaboration with Microsoft, and Estonia’s leading department store, Tallinna Kaubamaja, is the first customer in the Baltic countries to acquire the entire strategy,” says Columbus IT Group Managing Director Claus E. Hansen.
Faster and better
With the new IT solution, Tallinna Kaubamaja now has optimal opportunities to plan its product purchasing, speed up the purchasing processes and improve its storage management, as well as being able to gather all information into one simple system. This means that Tallinna Kaubamaja is now able to bring together and standardise all customer related work processes, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.
“We tested quite a few software solutions, because we knew that the new solution would be vital to our business operations. In the end we opted for a complete Microsoft solution, quite simply because it is the only solution that fully meets our requirements,” says Tallinna Kaubamaja IT Manager Andreas Leznevski.
In addition to the department store in Estonia, Columbus IT is experiencing tremendous interest from other large and medium sized retail companies around the world. The close collaboration with Microsoft to offer the type of industry solution that Columbus IT can provide raises optimism about the course and strategy adopted by Columbus IT.
“We have developed the technology that Microsoft is now rolling out and marketing together with us. This collaboration gives us a distinct advantage, and backed by an effective sales process it offers us significant potential for increased sales. In 2009, Columbus IT was named Microsoft Global Retail Partner of the Year, and our contract with Tallinna Kaubamaja serves to underline our market position,” says Columbus IT Group Managing Director Claus E. Hansen
From Kroon to Euro
As well as being able to draw on Columbus IT’s industry consultants and retail sector expertise, Tallinna Kaubamaja also has access to Columbus IT’s process and specialist know-how. This helps ensure that the solution meets Tallinna Kaubamaja’s stringent requirements in full and complies with its desire for a standard Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail solution.
“Columbus IT has carried out many comprehensive local and global solutions, which means not only are we assured that the people working on our solutions know our business and business model, but also that they have the expertise to come up with the most expedient solution for us. In addition, this contract will ease the transition to the Euro, which we want to achieve quickly and smoothly,” says Tallinna Kaubamaja IT Manager Andreas Leznevski.
The solution, based on Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, has been specially developed to facilitate cooperative processes across companies and subdivisions, which gives competitive advantages. The system will be implemented over the coming months and, according to the outline plan, noticeably faster than similar solutions from other software suppliers.
“By replacing its earlier Microsoft XAL solution with the latest generation of Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail, Tallinna Kaubamaja is helping to enhance the value of Microsoft’s future development of retail software. We see tremendous interest and a massive market for these types of solutions globally, and our strategy ensures that we gather all business-critical, retail-specific processes and business procedures into one system – based on one and the same Microsoft platform,” says Columbus IT VP of Sales Henrik Salicath.
He adds: “This assignment is just the first of a number of new customers that Columbus IT expects to present and we reckon on supplying Microsoft Dynamics AX to the retail sector for many years to come. The goal for Columbus IT is clear: We aim to be Microsoft’s most successful and globally preferred Dynamics AX retail partner.”